In late July 2018, the Carr Fire swept through Shasta County in northern California. It was the seventh most destructive wildfire in the state’s history. Thousands lost their homes, and eight people lost their loves.
The Carr Fire is just one of many wildfires that engulfed parts of California in the last several years. While the Carr Fire burned in Shasta County, the Mendocino Complex Fire burned 200 miles away near the coast. And just two months after the Carr Fire was contained in August, the Camp Fire destroyed parts of Butte County, California, becoming the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history.
According to CALFire, 2018 was the most destructive wildfire season ever, with 8,527 burning during the year.
After all this destruction, what is left behind? Where do displaced families and lives and communities go? Rebuilding and recovery is a long and hard process, both physically and emotionally. What does it mean to rebuild after you lose everything you have?
About the project
FROM THE ASHES is a longform multimedia project about individual and community recovery after disaster, centered on the Carr Fire. It follows three families on the road to recovery after losing their homes in the fire. It was filmed in two weeks in January 2019.
KAITLYN WANG studies broadcast journalism and history at New York University. This is her senior thesis project.
Videos scored by Mark Cooney.
With special thanks to: Jason Samuels, Mark Cooney, Clara Chen, Imani Johnson, Ale Leipen, Sabrina Lou, Talia Smith, and Sami Sneider.